Chelsea’s McPhail sets record at Ice Breaker, others perform well

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – Several runners kicked off the 2020 indoor track and field season at the 2021 Ice Breaker Invitational held at the Birmingham CrossPlex between Jan. 8 and 9 with record-setting performances.

After last year’s outdoor season ended early, it seemed as if several athletes were determined to start this season with a bang, and it showed.

Broken down into five different sections, each Ice Breaker saw at least two teams compete with several schools having an athlete set a record.

With nine schools competing, county teams accounted for 13 first place finishes, 11 second place finishes and 13 third place finishes.

But two of the biggest highlights were Chelsea’s Cady McPhail and Spain Park’s Mackenzie Culpepper.

McPhail set a new school and meet record in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:59.88, which at the time was also the fastest in the country this season by eight seconds as she picked up a win in the first event of the winter for the Hornets.

Culpepper also had a strong showing for the Jaguars. She matched her own school record in the 800-meter run, winning the race with a time of 2:14.82, while she also finished second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.59 seconds, which marked a new personal record.

Those two set the tone for what was an exciting event for local teams.

In the Ice Breaker 1 event, Pelham and Shelby County both competed with positive results.

The Panthers were led by Brooke Monti, who was coming off a strong cross country season as well. She finished first in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:45.98, which was just off a personal-record pace.

Pelham also got a first-place finish from Caleb Newell in the shot put thanks to a distance of 44 feet, 3.75 inches. As a team, the Panthers also took home first in the 4X200-meter relay race.

Beyond that, Maggie Lowe and Jackelin Ruiz both added second place finishes. Lowe finished second in the high jump and Ruiz second in the long jump.

The Panthers also got finishes of third from Elizabeth Hurst in the high jump, Brayden Marlowe in the 60-meter hurdles and the 4X200-meter relay team.

Shelby County was highlighted by David Vick with an impressive performance in the high jump. He cleared 6 feet, 4 inches to set a new personal record and finish the event in first.

In the Ice Breaker 2 event, Chelsea and Spain Park both put together strong performances.

The Hornets, who were led by McPhail, also got fifth and sixth place finishes from Andrew Fielding and Thomas Ludwig in the 1,600-meter run and 3,200-meter run, respectively.

The Jaguars were led by several impressive athletes with Annabelle Widra, Delaney Vickers and K.J. Fleming all finishing first in their respective events.

Widra took home first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.22 seconds, Vickers grabbed first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:01.95 and Fleming took the top spot in the boys 60-meter dash with a time of 7.12 seconds.

The Jags also got a second-place finish from Keith Warner in the 3,200-meter run thanks to a time of 9:44.29. Beyond that, Lydia Coleman finished third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.55 seconds and Jieli Chandler finished third in pole vaulting with a height of 8 feet.

Spain Park finished with 24 total top-10 finishes.

In the Ice Breaker 3 event, Calera, Indian Springs and Oak Mountain were the local teams competing.

Calera was led by Jordon Bray, who finished first in the 400-meter dash thanks to a time of 59.45 and second in the 800-meter run behind a time of 2:32.52.

The Eagles also got a third-place finish from the 4X200-meter relay team after running the race in 1:38.09.

Oak Mountain was led by Michael Marvin, who finished first in the 800-meter run behind a time of 2:02.71, while the Eagles had four athletes finish in second.

Jimmy Harris did so in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.56 seconds, while Ethan Hammett finished second in two different events. Hammett claimed the two podium finishes with a height of 6 feet in the high jump and a distance of 19 feet, 1 inch in the long jump.

Beyond that, the 4X200-meter relay team finished second with a time of 1:33.37, while Cade George finished third in the 400-meter dash and Mitch Allen third in the long jump.

Indian Springs only had one runner compete, as Elise Picard finished 12th in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:57.18.

The Ice Breaker 4 competition was highlighted by Culpepper’s record-setting performance for the Jags, while Tre Bright finished sixth in the shot put for Calera behind a distance of 35 feet, 11.25 inches.

In the final competition, the Ice Breaker 5, Briarwood and Helena put together strong performances.

Briarwood was led by Adrienne Goolsby, who won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:43.17.

The Lions also saw Joseph Bell finish second in the boys 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:10.33, while Ansley Murphy finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 1.25 inches.

Murphy also added a finish of third in the pole vault, clearing a height of 10 feet. The Lions had a total of 21 athletes finish inside the top 10 of their respective events.

Helena was highlighted by its 4X200-meter relay team, who finished the race with a time of 1:51.33 to claim second place.

The Huskies also saw Brady Barton finish third in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.61, while Charlie Harper finished third in the long jump with a distance of 19 feet, 7.5 inches.